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Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s challenge of a federal judge’s key decision on the future of the controversial Line 5 Great Lakes oil pipeline will now move to a federal appeals court.

U.S. District Judge Janet Neff Tuesday signed an order granting permission for  Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel to file her challenge with the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.   In doing so, Neff indicated  the legal questions raised by Nessel around state versus federal court jurisdiction were valid and an appeals court decision is needed.  

“Every day this outdated 1950s crude oil pipeline is in the Great Lakes is a day when beautiful Lake Michigan could end up being a disaster zone,” said Sean McBrearty, Oil & Water Don’t Mix Coordinator and Clean Water Action Michigan Legislative and Policy Director. “Delay is not our friend and this legal development moves us closer to a decision.”

Nessel initially filed her suit against Enbridge Energy in June 2019 in Ingham County Circuit Court, but Enbridge successfully had the suit moved to federal court where the case has been sitting,  Meanwhile, the aging, outdated  pipeline continue transporting 23 million gallons of oil through the Straits, with most of the oil going to a Sarnia, Canada refinery. 

“This pipeline poses a grave threat to Michigan and to our Great Lakes,” said Attorney General Nessel in a press statement today. "Enbridge initially agreed that this case belonged in state court and waited two years to move it to federal court. I am grateful that the district court has now recognized that an appeal is appropriate, and I look forward to raising these important issues in the Sixth Circuit."


Oil & Water Don't Mix, founded in 2013 at the Straits of Mackinac, is a Michigan's citizens campaign to shut down Enbridge Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac and protect the Great Lakes from oil pipelines.  Our coalition is led by Native American tribes, local grassroots civic and environmental groups and statewide organizations and powered by 71,000 supporters from across the Great Lakes State and beyond.

Oil & Water Don’t Mix Steering Committee

Chippewa Ottawa Resource Authority (CORA), Clean Water Action, FLOW (For Love of Water), Groundwork Center for Resilient Families, League of Women Voters of Michigan, Michigan Climate Action Network, Michigan Environmental Council, Northern Michigan Environmental Council, Progress Michigan, Sierra Club, Straits Area Concerned Citizens for Peace, Justice & the Environment, Straits of Mackinac Alliance, TC350

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Oil & Water Don't Mix ➡️

The Oil & Water Don't Mix coalition was formed to address the threat to the Great Lakes from the aged, dangerous Line 5 pipeline and associated proposed tunnel project. Together, we saw a need to organize on behalf of Michiganders and all those that value and use the Great Lakes - for our freshwater future, not fossil fuel profit.

Line 5: A Timeline of a Ticking Bomb

Line 5 has already released over 1 million gallons, and crossing over two of the Great Lakes the aging pipeline is a disaster waiting to happen. Click to read a timeline of major Line 5 events, from construction nearly 70 years ago to present day.
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